Eleven Women Scholars Who Are Taking on New Roles in Higher Education

Djurdjica Coss is the new associate vice chancellor for research and economic development at the University of California, Riverside. She has been on the faculty for the past 10 years. Previously, Dr. Coss was a research scientist and faculty member at the University of California, San Diego for 12 years.

Dr. Coss received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Novi Sad University in Serbia. She holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of California, Riverside.

Jennifer Siemens has been named associate dean of faculty excellence in the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business at Clemson University in South Carolina. She joined the faculty at the university in 2011 and has been serving as chair of the marketing department.

Dr. Siemens holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, an MBA, and a Ph.D. in marketing, all from the University of Arkansas.

Lorelle Semley was named director of the African and African Diaspora Studies Program at Boston College. Dr. Semley’s research in African history spans a multiplicity of disciplines, source materials, and political and social subject matter. Her current project examines the evolution of Black citizenship in the former French colonial empire. Before coming to Boston College, she was a professor of history at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Professor Semley is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where she majored in French. She earned a master’s degree in African studies at Yale University and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in history at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Lindsey Aloia, associate professor of communication and previously the director of honor studies in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas, has been appointed associate dean in the Graduate School and International Education at the university.

Dr. Aloia holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from The College of New Jersey, a master’s degree in communication from the University of Delaware, and a doctorate in communication arts and sciences from Pennsylvania State University.

Stacy-ann Robinson was promoted to associate professor of environmental studies at Colby College in Waterville Maine. She is a specialist in international environmental policy, with a particular focus on climate justice in the Global South. Her interdisciplinary research explores the intersections of environmental security, climate adaptation, climate mitigation, climate justice, and loss and damage, with a focus on small island developing states. She joined the Colby faculty in 2019.

Dr. Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations and political science from the University of the West Indies. She holds a master’s degree in international development from the University of Manchester in England and a Ph.D. in global environmental change from the Australian National University.

Jocelyn Viterna, a professor of sociology at Harvard University, is the new chair of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at the university. Professor Viterna’s research examines how social mobilization affects gender norms and practices in politics, in government institutions, in warfare, and in communities. She is the author of Women in War: The Micro-Processes of Mobilization in El Salvador (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Dr. Viterna is a graduate of Kansas State University, where she majored in sociology and Latin American studies. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from Indiana University.

Alisha Butler is a new assistant professor in the College of Education Studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. She joined the College of Education Studies as the Provost’s Equity Fellow. Her research focuses on the relationship between school and neighborhood development, the significance of place and space for understanding educational equity, and how school-family-community partnerships can strengthen schools.

Dr. Butler holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in education leadership and policy studies from the University of Maryland College Park.

Saralyn Williams, professor of emergency medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics, has been named associate dean for faculty affairs for the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She joined the Vanderbilt University faculty in 2006.

Dr. Williams graduated from Duke University School of Medicine and completed an internship in internal medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She completed her emergency medicine residency and medical toxicology fellowship at the University of California, San Diego.

Linda Lausell Bryant has been promoted to clinical professor in the Silver School of Social Work at New York University. She is associate dean for academic affairs for the School of Social Work.

Dr. Bryant is a graduate of Pace University in New York. She earned a master of social work degree at Hunter College of the City University of New York and a Ph.D. in clinical social work from New York University.

Aprel Ventura was named director of graduate programs at the Fayetteville State University School of Nursing. Her research interests include community health, palliative care, cardiovascular disease, and communication.

Dr. Ventura is a nursing graduate of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She holds a master’s degree in nursing from Duke University and a Ph.D. from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

 Andrea Dawn Frazier, a professor of teacher education at Columbus State University in Georgia, has been appointed the associate dean of undergraduate research at the university. Before her appointment to the Columbus State faculty in August 2010, she taught at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Dr. Frazier holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors in African American studies and women’s studies from the University of Houston. She earned a master’s degree in human services administration from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago, and a doctorate in educational psychology from Ball State University.

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